Did you know that there is a multitude of health benefits of caffeine? Some people love it, some avoid it, and others? They literally can’t live without it. The good news is that when in moderation, caffeine can be good for your body.
The health impact of caffeine is often argued on either side, as to whether it’s good or bad, but of course, for the most part, it lies in how much is used. If you have eight cups of coffee a day, you will likely experience the negative effects, while drinking 1 cup will demonstrate the benefits.
In this article, we are going to cover the health benefits of caffeine, some you are aware of, and others that might surprise you. As mentioned above, moderation is key if you want to experience the full health benefits of caffeine. If taken in excess, there can be a multitude of ramifications your health, which we will also address. Like many things in life, at the end of the day, it all comes down to moderation and balance.
The Different Sources of Caffeine
Natural caffeine typically comes from specific plants. Experts believe that plants evolved to produce caffeine to act as a natural self-defense mechanism against destructive insects. Today, caffeine is used by humans, as a natural self-defense mechanism against things like sleepiness at work, lethargicness, and lack of energy to work out.
The 7 Most Common Sources Of Caffeine
Coffee – Coffee is the most common source of caffeine. You might even be reading this with a cup by your side. Not only is coffee great tasting, but it is a great source of caffeine. Aside from carrying a delicious taste, a cup of coffee typically contains around 95mg of caffeine, which works as a great boost of energy.
Tea – Some types of tea contain caffeine of varying amounts. For instance, green teas contain around 25-29mg per cup, while black tea contains 25-48mg per cup. The caffeine in tea is more long-lasting than the caffeine in a cup of coffee and is a great alternative to people that are sensitive to coffee.
Decaf coffees and teas – Decaf coffees and teas contain less caffeine than the regular drink, but nevertheless, they still contain a very tiny amount of it – around 2-5mg. This is a good option for someone who is looking for only a slight amount of energy.
Energy drinks – While energy drinks contain a significant amount of caffeine, it is a different type than the natural caffeine in tea or coffee drinks. Typically energy drinks contain a variety of caffeine elements, including processed herbs like ginseng, guarana seed extract, and more. Energy drinks range in their caffeine count, but for reference, an 8.4-oz can of Red Bull has 80mg of caffeine while a 16-oz can of Monster has around 160mg.
Chocolate (Cocoa) – Good news, chocolate is a great way to get a small dose of caffeine. Cocoa naturally contains caffeine just like coffee. One ounce (oz) of dark chocolate can contain around 12mg of caffeine.
Caffeinated water – Just the name demonstrates caffeinated water is water containing caffeine. Just like energy drinks, the amount of caffeine in caffeinated water varies from product to product. For instance, a 16-oz of Hint’s apple-pear flavor bottle contains 60mg of caffeine.
Medicines for migraine – Some migraine medicines can contain caffeine (on average, around 65mg per tablet). Note that too much caffeine can actually cause headaches, so it’s good to keep an eye on the amount of caffeine you consume.
Top 11 Health Benefits of Caffeine
If you are fond of caffeine, we have good news for you: caffeine has more to offer than just boosting energy! There is a variety of health benefits of caffeine, but here are the most beneficial ones.
Health Benefits of Caffeine
1. Caffeine can be good for your heart health
One research study conducted in 2014 found out that people who drank 3-5 cups of coffee every day have the lowest risk of heart disease. On a similar analysis, coffee was shown to help protect people against strokes. However, it is still unclear what causes this defense mechanism to take place.
2. Caffeine can help reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes
Based on more than 24 studies, researchers came to the conclusion that coffee consumption is linked to a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The research tested for regular and decaf coffee, which both demonstrated lowering the risk, but caffeinated coffee seemed to have a stronger effect on reducing the risk to type 2 diabetes.
3. Caffeine is great for your workout
Caffeine is shown to improve endurance and decrease muscular pain. This gives two great benefits to a workout: you can recover quickly and, because you can recover quicker than usual and because of added muscular endurance, you can hit more reps during sets, helping to also increase workout results.
4. Caffeine can enhance your focus, concentration, and reaction time
Caffeine, in and of itself, is a natural stimulant that activates our central nervous system. This means that after 20 minutes of drinking coffee (or any caffeinated drink), you will start to feel an increase in focus, concentration, and recognize a faster reaction time.
5. Caffeine can be helpful in battling depression
While this is not a widely tested hypothesis, there is one specific study that demonstrates the positive impact coffee has on depression. According to one study, women who drink more caffeinated coffee show a lower rate of depression.
6. Caffeine can temporarily boost your memory
Since caffeine is a stimulant that directly impacts our nervous system, it’s not surprising that it has an effect on our brain, including our memory. According to one research study, those who drink caffeine have an enhanced memory that lasts up to 24 hours compared to those who do not drink any.
7. Caffeine can help you slow (if not prevent or stop) some brain diseases
Studies have shown that drinking consistent caffeine can slow down the process of brain disease. A variety of studies show that drinking caffeine can lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 65%. Caffeine is also shown to be helpful when combating Parkinson’s disease; in one study, it’s demonstrated that those who drink 4-5 cups of coffee per day cut their risk of Parkinson’s disease in half.
8. Caffeine can help you in preventing weight gain
According to one research from Germany, participants who drank around 2-4 cups of coffee per day kept their weight from going up compared to those who did not consume any caffeine.
According to another study, caffeine stimulates our brown fat cells which causes our body to burn more calories. Take note that this does not mean you can order your favorite vanilla frappuccino every day and expect to burn fat; coffee with high sugar will only reserve the weight gain effects of caffeine.
9. Caffeine can help protect you from cancer
According to one review published in 2017, drinking coffee can decrease your risk of developing cancer by 18%. However, the authors of the review stress that you should stick to around 3-4 cups of coffee a day to get this benefit. If you exceed that amount, they argue that you can damage your body.
10. Caffeine is helpful for those with asthma
One study published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine shows that caffeine seems to open our airways, hence helping asthmatic people breathe with ease. It has a similar effect to theophylline, a drug used for asthma, and it’s a close relative to caffeine.
11. Caffeine is a great help if you have restricted sleep
Coffee is a great way to keep you up at night. Whether you have to study for a test for school, a project for work or you simply need to stay up, you likely rely heavily on coffee. Caffeine is shown to increase our concentration and logical reasoning when we need it due to restricted sleep.
Caffeine is also very helpful for drivers who lose sleep because of driving long hours. However, caffeine is never an alternative to good sleep. If you have a chance to sleep, go to sleep, especially if you have a high-risk (due to lack of sleep) job such as being a truck driver.
Possible Health Risks and Side Effects
Although you’ve learned about some of the amazing benefits of caffeine, it is important to note that you should consume caffeine in moderate quantities. Otherwise, the positive effects may not impact you, and negative side effects may appear instead.
Some possible side effects of caffeine are:
- Caffeine addiction
- Muscle tremors
- Upset stomach
- Faster heartbeat (palpitations)
Also, it is important to note that some people may have a low tolerance for caffeine. If you find yourself palpitating after a few sips of coffee, then you probably have a low tolerance for caffeine. So, it’s important to know how much caffeine you can handle, but the agreed average, for cups of coffee at least, is 3-4 cups of coffee per day.
Enjoy your coffee by drinking it in moderation, and hopefully you will experience some of the benefits of caffeine.
Now that you know the benefits of caffeine, it might be time to buy coffee. Check out our article “Where Can I Buy Coffee Beans? How and Where To Buy Quality Beans” to learn more. You can also browse our coffee beans here.